Jointcare: Pet Edition

It is a known fact that we all want to keep the furry members of the family as healthy as they can be. It is common across animals for them to experience cases of arthritis, spinal problems and joint conditions where the only treatment that is available is anti-inflammatory and pain-killing drugs. The drugs which are prescribed to help with aches and pains often have counter effects on the liver, kidneys and the digestive system.


Sometimes having natural therapies is much better for the animal in the long run, possibly preventing them from having to go through surgery, an example of this is vets who practice therapies regularly to treat cruciate ligament disease in dogs (a condition affecting the knee joint) and quite often major orthopaedic surgery on the joint which could be avoided. 


It is very important to remember to not take your pet off any prescribed medication without having a conversation with your vet first. If you pet it already taking medication, natural therapies are normally given alongside treatment already prescribed, however medication can be reduced and sometimes stopped if natural therapies are successful.


There are other alternatives to helping your pet when they experience joint problems.


One method is through Acupuncture – this is where needles are inserted at the correct points along one or more point stimulating, suppressing and rebalancing the abnormal energy flow leading to a recovery of health. Acupuncture requires a consultation and examination, followed by sessions weekly for three or four weeks which is then usually followed by sessions at longer intervals, depending on the response and what is being treated. An example of long treatment is arthritis.


Another method is manipulative therapies, this is a term used to cover a variety of techniques that include some form of massage, manipulation or specialist exercise programme. The most common examples of this are: hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic. The therapy normally consists of therapy sessions once or twice weekly over a period; however, the number of sessions depends on the severity of the problem and whether it is a short-term injury or a long-term disability. It has been shown that physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, osteopathy and all other massage and manipulation techniques can promote recovery after injury and surgery, increasing mobility and improving general health and wellbeing. The number of treatments that your pet requires depends on what they are being treated for, yet you may see a difference after a few sessions. 


Nutrition is also an important aspect of your pet’s lifestyle; it is very important to get the correct balance of vitamins and minerals in their diet. Joint care supplements contain glucosamine and chondroitin as well as curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric. A study was conducted in 2014 showing curcumin outperformed ibuprofen in people with arthritis. Pain levels were reduced more in those taking turmeric compared with the group taking ibuprofen and 96% of the curcumin group were satisfied with the treatment. 


At BestLyfe, we offer a Pet Joint Care + - this supplement contains glucosamine and chondroitin – both natural compounds found in healthy cartilage. Research has shown that MSM can help to improve skin health, as well as reducing joint pain, lowering inflammation, decreasing allergy symptoms and speeding recovery after exercise. This supplement comes at only £0.15 per day.